Top 3 Biggest Online Pots5 years ago
For some players, high-stakes online poker is having $100 in front of you and praying that nobody looks up your dodgy ace-high bluff-shove. For others it might be their $10 weekly flutter, trying to eke out an hour or two of micro-stakes play without re-loading.
For a select few, however, online high-stakes poker has more zeros in the numbers than I have hairs on my head, and the ability to keep their cool when it’s all on the line. $million tournament prizes are one thing, but $million+ HANDS are quite another!
So, let’s have a look at three of the biggest online pots ever, featuring mind-boggling numbers and mind-boggling players!
To the uninitiated, the fact that the game of No Limit Hold’em only features once in the top 15 biggest pots of all time might seem strange. After all, isn’t NLHE the game we see on TV all the time? We think of the big boys Ivey, Dwan, and Negreanu slapping down huge wads of cash with 4-7 offsuit.
Well, it’s actually not too surprising that Pot Limit Omaha instead holds all the online pot-size records. Pots tend to get bigger in PLO than in NoLimit mainly because the nature of the game means players will almost always have the correct odds to play their drawing hands.
Anyway, back in 2008 some of the biggest names in the game were still playing $500/1000 NoLimit online, and the following hand became the daddy of them all!
For those who joined the poker world after Black Friday, some names will still be well-known, Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan and Gus Hansen, for example. One player who pretty much disappeared was Di Dang, and yet he was among the most successful players to ever play cash games online, with profits of $7,411,127 over 680,702 hands!
His online moniker, Urindanger, was no empty threat – as even the highest caliber of opponent was to find out. Anyway, here’s how he took a pot of $723,938 against Tom Dwan…
It was the 26th October 2008, and Di Dang was sat at a 6-man table playing $500/1000 NLHE, the nosebleed online stakes as they are called.
The table regulars and stack sizes in this huge cash game were:
(La Key U) Chau Giang $41,333.50
(urindanger) Di Dang $359,970.50
(elmariachimacho) Guy Laliberte $504,868.00
Gus Hansen $378,941.50
Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan $443,038
John Juanda $100,997
This was a special table, not only because of the big names and big stacks, but because apparently whenever ‘elmariachimacho’ appeared at the table, it would fill up immediately. Rumoured to be Guy Laliberte of Cirque du Soleil fame, the billionaire ‘whale’, the biggest fish in town.
As Poker-king.com describe the situation:
Don't feel too bad for "elmariachimacho" though - if the account does in fact belong to Guy Laliberte, then there is plenty more money where that come from. Laliberte simply wants to sit with the best players in the world, and has nearly unlimited money to bankroll his hobby. Which of us wouldn't sit at "RailHeaven" against Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius if we were worth over a billion dollars? We'd get hammered too.”
In any event, Giang in seat 1 folded and Di Dang stared down at A♣A♦
Naturally a little raise is in order here, so he makes it 3xBB, that’s $3000 to go. Laliberte flats, Hansen folds, and Dwan in the SB decides to pop it up to $16,300.
Good news for Dang and his pocket rockets. He immediately makes it $45K, getting rid of Laliberte and seeing a call from out-of-position Dwan.
When the flop comes…
5♣ 9♥ 4♥
…Dwan naturally checks and sees Dang bet out $52,700 which ‘durrrr’ decides to raise up to $139,500, and Dang decides he has Dwan beaten and shoves. Dwan calls and we see a pot of $723,941 up for grabs – and remember this is all real money folks!
So, what did Dwan have? He ‘turned over’ K♣K♦!!
That’s right people – the biggest ever online NoLimit Hold’em pot came down to that age-old classic of aces against kings – leaving ‘durrrr’ staring at a 2-outer, which unfortunately for him never appeared.
The hand completed with
5♣ 9♥ 4♥ 3♦ 6♥
and Di ‘urindanger’ Dang scooped the lot!
♥ ♦ ♠ ♣
On the 21st November 2009, the PLO tables on Full Tilt saw an incredible heads-up battle between Patrik Antonius and Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom. AlthoughBlom’s real identity was still a secret of sorts at the time, many within the high-stakes community were pretty sure it was the Swede who was killing their bankrolls almost daily.
On this particular day, however, the fearless Antonius was destined to take Blom for a massive amount, with the following hand topping the high-stakes online tables to this very day!
With blinds at $500/1000, Antonius was sitting with $1,259,450.25 behind him, Blom having slightly over half as much – a tidy $678,473.50 of cold, hard ‘online’ cash!
Antonius was dealt A♥3♠K♠K♥ and Blom 6♦9♠7♦8♥ so we already have two excellent hands – though very different – and the scene is set for a possible big hand to evolve.
Isildur1 kicks things off with a standard 3xBB from the SB and Antonius re-raises to $9k, Blom 4-bets to $27k and Antonius quite rightly 5-bets it to $81k!
Blom’s decision to call here sees him commit a lot more than the normal player might do in these circumstances, but his style of play allows for this – although the swings and variance are obviously extremely high with this approach.
When the flop comes…
…we’re almost certain of a massive hand, Antonius having the idiot end of the straight and backdoor draws in hearts and spades which add a little extra to his hand.
Blom, on the other hand, flops a wrap draw with a lot of outs, exactly the kind of hand he likes to play aggressively, and so it transpires….
Antonius bets out $91k and Blom commits his stack by re-raising to $435,000. When Antonius 4-bets it, Blom calls and finds himself looking for help….which doesn’t appear!
The board runs out 4♠5♣2♥ (5♥ 9♣) and Antonius’ hand holds on to take down the incredible $1,356,946 pot!!
♥ ♦ ♠ ♣
On November 23rd 2009, a mere two days after Antonius took Blom for the biggest online pot ever played, the secret Swede was back in action once more in the nosebleed PLO tables on Full Tilt.
This time Phil Ivey was the opponent at the same $500/1k stakes, and the stacks were fairly evenly matched at close to $600,000 each. Ivey raised 3xBB with unseen cards and Blom in the big blind found himself looking down at K♦4♦5♥K♣ and decided a raise was in order, which Ivey 4-bet and Blom only called.
Blom’s hand is a decent enough holding, but this time he managed to control himself a bit better, and when the flop came…
…he found himself with the second nuts and a huge favorite against almost anything Ivey could have been holding. The flop betting went check-check and the turn came….
Isildur1 checks again and now Ivey takes a stab at the pot with a $41k bet, which Blom decides to raise it up to $177,000 and Ivey flats, the pot now standing at $408,000 and the river brings….
…which is great news if Ivey has been pinning his hopes on the nut diamond flush as it just got there, and a boat filled with 10’s is also losing, as is any Broadway straight.
Seeing no reason to hold back now, Blom puts Ivey all-in to call – which the maestro does – only to find himself staring at Blom’s flopped boat, which sails off into the sunset with a glorious $1,127,955 pot, the second biggest in online history ever!
As BluffEurope described it:
This hand is significant because Isildur1 checked those two streets and that’s probably the only time he’s ever checked two streets in a row in his whole crazy, glorious life!”
So there you have it folks – the world’s biggest online pots played by the world’s leading online players!
Will we ever see such sums up for grabs online again? Highly unlikely! But while it lasted, the Full Tilt nosebleeds were the most amazing games in town!
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